The Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) on January 29 concluded its two-day extraordinary congress, setting the party’s priority goals for 2023-2028.

The ruling party’s congress was attended by more than 3,000 members from across the Kingdom, including the members of the permanent and central committees, from the district level on up to the top leadership.

According to the outcome statement released following the adjournment of the congress, Prime Minister Hun Sen, also CPP president, was endorsed to be the prime ministerial candidate for this July’s national election, while Hun Manet was endorsed as the future prime ministerial candidate for the party after his father’s retirement.

The statement from the CPP said that, in the last five years, peace and political stability have been firmly protected and democracy has taken root deeply in society, while the country was also able to make it through the Covid-19 pandemic smoothly while saving people’s lives, followed by the successful hosting of the ASEAN Summit and related meetings.

The congress set five strategic goals for the next five years which it said are based on ‘the wishes of the people’ and reflect the real situation both locally and internationally and taking into account the expected achievement of higher-middle incoming country status in 2030.

According to the statement, the five strategic goals include: maintaining the peace, independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity while protecting and expanding on all of the development achieved to date, considered collectively as the first.

The second is to make Cambodia an “advanced multi-party democratic state” with strong rule of law, a sustainable and growing economy and equality among its citizenry, with all people leading prosperous lives and being able to live with dignity, with full respect for human rights.

“[The CPP] will build a social protection system that is inclusive, effective and financially sustainable to protect people in response to economic risks, public health risks and other vulnerabilities born from evolving trends in the nature of the labour force and livelihood conditions,” the statement said of the third goal.

The fourth goal is to push for the implementation of a mine-free Cambodia by 2025, a project that is already funded and well on track to be completed on time.

“The CPP will continue to implement an independent foreign policy based on laws while building friendships and good cooperation with all countries and international organisations and actively taking part in all diplomacy for the sake of peace, stability, security and prosperity in the region and in the world,” it said as part of the fifth goal.

Prime Minister Hun Sen addresses the party's congress on January 29. SPM

It also said that the CPP is committed to protecting peace, political stability and national security in all situations, promoting respect for the law and preventing any activities that may lead to hostility in Cambodian society or that may negatively affect peace, sovereignty, the rule of law and development in Cambodia.

“In this spirit, it is necessary to destroy all extremist policies and actions in all forms in Cambodia, without giving them a chance to cause a national breakup,” the document stated.

It also said that the CPP is committed to working with the National Election Committee (NEC) and the other political parties for ensuring that the run-up to the next election goes smoothly so that it will be a free and fair election and one absent of any threats or violence.

The CPP said it will continue their policy to support poor and impoverished families during the Covid-19 pandemic and its aftermath recovery period, as well as those affected by global inflation and affected by floods through their cash transfer programme.

They also promised an increase in salary for civil servants, the armed forces and others.

The CPP also appealed to all states currently involved in international or domestic conflicts to increase their tolerance, increase their cooperation and find solutions peacefully in order to ensure peace and prosperity for all mankind, according to the statement.

Hun Sen also instructed his team of pro bono lawyers led by Ky Tech to provide legal aid to women who work in the entertainment sector across the country if they are in need of legal defence because of criminal violations related to their job as an effort to protect women rights, according to local media outlet Fresh News.

Kin Phea, director of the International Relation Institute at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, said that the CPP’s extraordinary congress results highlighted the party’s preparedness and readiness to secure a landslide victory in the upcoming election in July this year.

Phea said that the party has formulated a long-term and far-sighted vision and strategy for running the country prosperously and that the party’s policy for 2023-2028 responds to the global geopolitical changes and the super power rivalry between the US and China as well as the actual needs for Cambodian development and improving people’s livelihoods.

“The party remains strong, unified and in solidarity based on its strictly implemented statutes, internal regulations and other decisions made by the party’s hierarchical leadership and its interwoven structure of human and financial resources, along with physical infrastructure including the party’s headquarters and other buildings, and they have effectively taken hold of a monopoly on power,” he said.

Phea was of the view that the CPP will remain strong and will likely win the upcoming election and rule the country for at least the next five years and quite possibly well beyond that period.